It took two days of weather related nonsense, but when I woke up on our last day at Azura Benguerra it finally seemed as though the weather gods had decided to ease the wind and put a stop to the rain, which would finally allow us to explore Benguerra in the way that it should be…
…from the water!
Over a beachside breakfast we finally got the (extremely good) news that our desire to go snorkelling had been given the green light, and I was so utterly excited to explore a tiny part of the glorious Mozambican reef system.
Azura Benguerra is located on the quieter and less exposed part of Benguerra island, which is a good thing for the most part. However, it does mean that it does not have a ‘house reef’. Instead, the only way for snorkellers to get to the reef is via a 15 minute boat ride.
For us, that 15 minute ride turned into a two hour journey!
Fifteen minutes didn’t turn into two hours because of accident, bad weather or any other negative incident; it did so because of a special little detour…
A stunning beach picnic had been set up for us on a small tidal island!
I had not been on a real picnic in at least ten years (possibly much longer) so to have one that was so unique and pretty?
Well, to say I was stoked would be a rather significant understatement!
The island itself was more like an enormous sandbar than a true island, and it was certainly much bigger than any sandbar I’ve ever seen! It is pretty amazing to think that only a few hours after we departed it would’ve completely disappeared.
After we had finished our lunch and had a quick dip, it was finally time to don some snorkels and get into the water.
Because of the storm that had only just passed through, water visibility wasn’t exactly at its best, but I didn’t mind, I was just so pleased to be back in my happy place – the water.
I have always been an unbelievably uncoordinated human; my own father routinely tells me that I can fall over thin air on flat ground, and honestly, he’s not exactly wrong! But when I am in the water, things just feel so different. In the water I feel calm, peaceful and more than anything, I feel graceful.
For me, snorkelling (and now diving) are undoubtedly about exploring our incredible ocean world, but they are also one of the few activities in which I feel capable, tranquil and powerful.
So when I say that the water visibility didn’t matter, I truly mean that. I was just so happy to get that wondrous feeling back again.
On the other hand, Dan is far more at home on land than in the water. This was actually only the second time that he’d ever snorkelled!
Even though my focus wasn’t so much on the ocean creatures, that certainly doesn’t mean that we didn’t see any!
I love the way the anemone looks in this next shot, and also how the fish looks so shocked!
Choppy water and lots of sediment aside, in the end the verdict was a very big thumbs up from this happy traveller, and it had absolutely been worth the wait.
We arrived back to Azura with just enough time to shower and freshen up before sunset, which was good, because it was shaping up to be a particularly beautiful one.
I mean seriously?! Those colours are too beautiful to be real!
Much to my surprise and delight, we had been set up with a cosy spot from which we would be able to watch the sun say goodnight. As far as surprises go, this was definitely one of the best!
As the sun dipped lower, the vibrant peach and lavender colours filled the sky more and more dramatically…
…which led to the capture of one of my favourite sunset shots of all time! I particularly love the way the oar slices through the brilliant red sun.
I had heard long ago that African sunsets were the most beautiful, and I gotta be honest, I agree with that sentiment quite wholeheartedly.
Once the sun had well and truly disappeared we were indulged in one of the most special dinners of my entire life to celebrate our final evening with Azura Benguerra.
In just one day, all my dreams about my Mozambican experience had come true, and I knew that I could leave completely satisfied and utterly blissed out.
Our entire time in Mozambique was wonderful, but it was this last day that I will remember the most fondly. I am so glad that the weather gods granted us with such a well-timed reprieve!
Getting to Vilanculos: This is one of the least well connected airports, you will need to get yourself to Johannesburg in order to arrive here
Getting to Benguerra: From Vilanculos the best option to travel to Benguerra is via helicopter transfer. These transfers are on the pricier side, but the unbelievable views they provide you make it well worth the money
Azura Benguerra: One night in a beach villa starts at $1390 USD for two persons including all meals and drinks. For more information about Azura Retreats, click here
Camera: Images captured with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 in conjunction with M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 and M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 lenses and a Sony camera and underwater housing
Remember: Don’t forget to put sunscreen on your scalp or you may up with a rather sunburnt one like I did!